Even though Plextor are a well respected manufacturer it's not a brand I've ever really shopped for in stores. Price, speed and bezel style are the deciding factors, and Plextor falls well.... short on a few of those when compared side-by-side to Acer, Samsumg, or TDK offerings for example. In any regards, it is the performance of a drive, not the appearance that matters most, so let's begin. The Plextor PXW4012TA is a decidedly well spec'd out CD-RW; supporting 40X write, 12X re-write and 40X read, along with BurnProof, a 4MB buffer, but it is kind of an ugly duckling.
The Plextor PXW4012TA comes standard with buffer underrun protection in the form of BurnProof, and also uses Powerec-II to ensure data integrity. In fact looking at the specs, we find that Powerrec-II actually calibrates the media to each drive before burning, ensuring as Plextor say; a "quality write using Z-CLV servo positioning."